A man captured on surveillance video during an armed robbery Friday in Petaluma is believed to be connected to six robberies in Sonoma County during the past month, including three in Petaluma, police said.
The suspect is described as a thin white man, standing 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches and about 40 to 55 years of age.
He was caught on camera robbing Palm Beach Tan on North McDowell Boulevard just after 4 p.m. Friday. As with most of the other robberies, he was wearing a baseball hat and dark sunglasses, and armed with a black handgun.
On Friday, he waited for a customer to leave before entering. His gun was concealed in a bag that was also used to carry cash from the shop. Afterward, he fled on foot, police said.
Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons said investigators believe the same man held up Yogurt World on Sonoma Mountain Parkway just before 7 p.m. Sept. 23, as well as See’s Candies on South McDowell Boulevard on Sept. 15 and Sift Dessert Bar on Commerce Boulevard in Cotati on Sept. 4.
On Aug. 23, a man held up a Baskin-Robbins on Yulupa Avenue in Santa Rosa, but left empty-handed when he reached in the register drawer and the cashier slammed it shut. About 50 minutes later, a man of similar description robbed a Tropical Tan business on Brooks Road South in Windsor.
Petaluma police are distributing surveillance photos and crime prevention information to potential targets. Investigators asked anyone who might recognize the man in the photo to call Petaluma police at 707-778-4372.
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 707-521-5249 or email@example.com.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong date for the robbery at Yogurt World on Sonoma Mountain Parkway. The correct date is Sept. 23, a Saturday.